Callum D' Souza
The man was a goalscoring genius. Not only that the Frenchman boasted so many admirable traits, flair, speed, strength. What he achieved is monumental and Henry has to the greatest player of the last decade.
He really brought the French national team to the next level, and was fantastic for Real Madrid. He led France to a Euro 2000 title and in his final ever competition, he led France to a World Cup final.
Roberto Alvarez- Galloso
The reasons are many
A. 50 International Caps
B. 13 International Goals
C. His numerous participation with the Argentine National Football/Soccer Team and FC Barcelona which resulted in the following:
La Liga titles (3),
UEFA European Supercup,
Copa Del Rey,
UEFA Champions League,
Spanish Supercups (3),
FIFA World Cup Crown (1),
2010 FIFA World Player Award
Another reason why Messi is the greatest is that he is the total opposite of Maradona. Messi is a player who is a professional off and on the field who is well behaved.
He does not hold any grudges, does not insult the press, and was the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador to Haiti when that country suffered the worst earthquake in the beginning of 2010.
Paolo Maldini had probably the greatest career in history of football players!
Just look at how many individual awards and titles he won!
Also everybody need to look at his numbers and soon they will realize how big that player was!
He was a big name not just on the field but also outside of the field!
I have never seen so many opponent players talking so respectful about Maldini.
For example, probably his biggest rival, Javier Zanetti was really sad to see Paolo retiring from football and Zanetti also spoke about Maldini as a fantastic player and person!
But of course only rare people will say that defender should be the greatest player of the past decade. We all know that this award of being “greatest” definitely deserves midfielder or striker.
I am an AC Milan fan but trust me that doesn’t has to do with choosing Maldini as the greatest!
But if I have to choose midfielder or striker, my vote would go for Zidane or Kaka, because I enjoyed watching those two! Zidane with amazing technical skills while Kaka was just so fast and unstoppable!
This subject is always going to cause issue, as this past decade in particular has been filled with incredible stars, but few have been as successful as Iker Casillas.
Casillas won everything in the first decade of the 21st century. He was a two-time UEFA Champions League winner, four-time Spanish League winner, three-time Spanish Super Cup and one-time UEFA Super Cup winner, and he won the the Intercontinental Cup.
Those were only his club honors. Let us not forget that he was also the captain of Spain when they won UEFA Euro 2008 and, most recently, the FIFA World Cup 2010.
Casillas led Spain on an incredible run from 2006-2009. After exiting the World Cup in 2006 at the Round of 16, Spain lost to Romania in October.
After that, they won or drew every match they played from the end of 2006 to the end of June 2009, a streak of 35 matches that was ended by a 2-0 loss to the United States in the FIFA Confederations Cup.
His personal trophy case is filled as well. Casillas has been honored with many awards, including: UEFA Team of the Year three times, UEFA Euro 2008 Team of the Tournament, FIFPro World XI twice, IFFHS Best Goalkeeper twice, FIFA.com Team of the Year, LFP Best Goalkeeper, FIFA World’s Best Goalkeeper, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup Golden Gloves and All Star Team.
Casillas has long been one of the most dominant goalkeepers of all time. Despite Barcelona being clearly the best team in Spain, it is hard to argue that Casillas is not better than Victor Valdes.
The only other goalkeeper that has come close to Casillas in the past decade is Gianluigi Buffon. However, since 2006, his career has declined and he is no longer the keeper he used to be. However, this is not just about goalkeepers.
My choice came down to two players: Casillas and Ronaldinho. It is very difficult to pick between a goalkeeper and an outfielder. They are the best goalkeeper and outfielder of the decade, no doubt, but in terms of being THE best, Casillas has Ronaldinho beat.
Ronaldinho may have the heart of young and old alike for his flashy ball skills and his incredible goals (notably goals such as his bike against Villareal or his standing still goal against Chelsea in the Champions League), but Casillas is the best player in the world at preventing just those situations.
Look at 2010 alone, when in the World Cup he recorded five clean sheets, gave up only two goals, stopped a critical penalty against Paraguay in a 1-0 win, and stopped Arjen Robben twice on two separate one on one opportunities in the Final.
Those two stops opened the door for teammate Andres Iniesta’s goal in the 116th minute to win the World Cup for the first time in Spain’s history.
No team can be successful without a great goalie. Look at the best teams in the world: Barcelona, Inter Milan, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Arsenal, they all have world class goalkeepers.
If you are in charge of a team, you dream of a player as good as Iker Casillas. There is nobody like him between the posts.
It may not be the most conventional pick, but Iker Casillas is the best player of the decade. The great goalkeepers of all time had to stop stiff competition.
If you stop players like Pele, Maradona, Gianni Rivera, Luigi Riva, Guiseppe Meazza, Romario, Marco van Basten, etc., on a regular basis, you deserve to be called one of the best. That was what it was like over the years.
Not all these players played at the same time, however (though there were plenty more great scorers), but Casillas is the best at a time when he has had to stop Cristiano Ronaldo (now a teammate), Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, Ronaldinho, Alexandre Pato, Fernando Torres, Didier Drogba, Francesco Totti, Luca Toni, Alberto Gilardino, Kaka (again, a teammate now), etc. That is a heavy list of players that very few keepers can cope with.
When it comes to success and being the best at what you do, Iker Casillas is more successful and better at what he does than any soccer player in the last decade.
He was one of few rare breed of players who did exceptionally well at both club and international level. He single handedly woman Euro 2000 for France, and took them to the finals in 2006.
Had he not been red-carded, France would be 2006 winners, not Italia. He was instrumental in France’s only worldcup win in 1998, but that was another decade.
His domestic credentials are as much sparkling if not more.
League Winner for Real Madrid in 2002-03 season, picked runners up medal twice in 2005-05 and 2005-06 season, winners medal at Suercopa de Espana twice in 2001 and 2003, two Copa del Rey runners up medals in 2001 and 2003.
And who can forget that stunning volley in the Champions League final in 2001-02 season, which entitled him for a winners medal. The list goes on of his achievements.
One of only two players to have won the Fifa footballer of the year 3 times, another two time Ballon D’or winner. How can anyone else in that decade be better than Zidane?
His resume has enough achievements that some clubs don’t have in their 100-year-old history.
His accolades include (just to name few) – crucial part of Brasil’s 2002 World Cup Success; 2005 Confed Cup Victory for Brasil; 2 world player of year titles; 2 La Liga titles; 1 Champion’s League title; 3 time world-11 team.
His presence on these teams allowed Brasil and Barca to reach Olympian heights and helped Barca get to the level they are currently at right now.
Despite his form dipping the past four years, he was still quite dangerous for both AC Milan and Barcelona albeit at a more inconsistent level.
Well, there were quite a few great players during the past decade: Zidane, Xavi, Ronaldo (the Brazilian)… But in the end, the best player of the past decade has to be Lionel Messi.
The little Argentine has managed what none of those players did: at 23 many football experts already put him in the same word as Pelé and Maradona, widely considered as the best football players in history.
That said, even though I think it’s still too soon to compare Messi to Maradona, he’s certainly above anyone else who has played this decade.
The question is: if at 23 Messi is already considered by many pundits, fans and fellows players and managers as one of the best players of all-time, what will it be like when he reaches 25-27 (the age at which players usually peak)?
At this pace, Messi risks becoming the best player ever once he retires, eclipsing Pelé and his fellow countryman Maradona.
No player combines pace, skill and strength like Messi does. A strong header of the ball and an excellent reader of the game, he can legitimately claim to be the most complete player in world football.
He is also the most feared goalscorer in the world, even though he is not really a striker.
Playing on the wing and sometimes from a playmaking position, Messi scored an incredible 47 goals in 53 matches last season, to add to the 38 he had scored the season before.
He has been the Champions League top scorer for two seasons in a row. Besides, he’s the perfect team player (which is why he’s so great) and provides countless assists to his teammates.
He’s almost unstoppable and his presence alone causes havoc to the opposition.
There’s basically nothing that Messi can’t do in the football field. When he’s on his day, stopping him is a near-impossible mission.
The Argentine’s goal against Getafe in 2007 was certainly the best goal of this decade and a copy of Maradona’s goal of the century.
Right now, the only thing separating him from the likes of Pelé and Maradona is a World Cup title. He played well during the 2010 World Cup but was unable to lead Argentina to the title.
But he will have at least two more chances. In 2014, he’ll be 27, he will have peaked and he will be ready to lead his nation to World Cup glory.
It’s the only step left for Messi to take his rightful place as maybe the best football player in history. His raw talent and teamwork skills give us every reason to believe that he might do it.
It wasn’t an easy decision, but the Brazilian’s resume is just a touch more impressive than the Frenchman’s over the last decade.
During the aughts, Ronaldinho was named FIFA World Player of the Year twice (Henry twice finished second) and won the European Footballer of the Year and UEFA Club Footballer of the Year Awards (neither of which Henry won).
He was also on Brazil’s World Cup-winning side in 2002 and the Samba Kings’ Confederations Cup-winning team in 2005.
He won two La Liga titles with Barcelona and helped lead them to the Champions League crown in 2006, a game in which the Blaugrana beat Henry’s Arsenal side.
In terms of skill, they’re both ridiculously gifted … obviously. Henry is a gifted striker who can play as a playmaker and Ronaldinho is more of a playmaker who can score goals.
And that versatility makes them both valuable, but I think that Ronaldinho’s style and creativity—especially at a time when those things are lacking in the European game—makes him my pick.
Ronaldo had unique skills; skills which very few centre-forwards possess today.
He could score when a defender or a keeper had a momentary lapse of concentration or otherwise use some exquisite skills to beat them. He was also calm and took beautiful penalties.
Thierry Henry wins my vote because, quite simply, of his consistent ability to win football matches.
He could score (249 goals in all competitions in the last 10 seasons), he could make the final pass (107 assists in all competitions in the last 10 seasons), and he could draw defenders out of position with intelligent runs.
He not only scored, but he dazzled. Henry could pick the ball up at midfield, run past half a dozen defenders, and slot the ball into the corner of the net. And he made it look almost effortless.
Even when Arsenal switched to a 4-5-1 formation in Europe during the ’05-’06 season, Henry re-invented himself.
Up until that point he had always played as the second striker, drifting out to the left and then sprinting at pace towards goal with the ball.
Once deployed as a lone striker, however, Henry showed that he had plenty of strength to go with his pace.
He held the ball up, brought his teammates into the attack, and did everything (bar winning headers) that a classic center-forward is expected to do.
So, why was Thierry Henry the greatest footballer of the past decade? I suppose that I have three primary reasons.
He was consistent in his production over the course of the decade, he adapted to the role handed to him and was more than a one-trick pony, and he scored goals that simply took the breath away.
To watch his run and goal against Tottenham is to be impressed.
To watch his flick and volley against Manchester United is to be in awe.
To see his solo effort against Real Madrid is to see all of the qualities–pace, strength, technique, and composure–that made him one of the greatest strikers to have ever graced a football pitch.
Reasons – The way he has developed from a kid in 2003 to 2010 is pretty phenomenal. Not only does he mesmerize the opponents on the pitch, but he also is a great role model for a lot of people around.
His 90 goals for Barcelona has been really a great exhibition of skill and finishing abilities.
Even after all that he is just 23. He has been a great entertainer and one of major reasons why Barcelona is looked at with such awe.
He may have made his mark more significantly in the past three years only, but then as a prodigy and genius, no one arguably had a better three-year spell in the last decade as compared to him.
Perhaps regarded as one of the wizards of modern football, the Brazilian midfielder mesmerized us all with his footballing skills.
During the middle of the past decade, the 32-year-old AC Milan player gave the world a taste of what pure samba football means with his dribbles and dodges.
The 30-year-old has been prolific during the past decade winning La Liga twice in 2005 and 2006 (maximum contribution for which goes to him), the UEFA Champions League, Ballon d'Or and has been twice selected FIFA World Player of the Year (2005 and 2006). He is a legend in Barcelona, where he was at his prime.
He has also helped the Samba boys to the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where his awesome free-kick helped his country progress past England.
He has been bit off-color though after arriving at AC Milan but nonetheless he still is a feared midfielder in modern football.